As British MPs tried to work out a new Brexit deal Monday, things turned little risque in the House of Commons as a group of protesters stripped in the public gallery. As the parliamentarians met after UK lawmakers had rejected the divorce deal struck between Prime Minister Theresa May’s government and the European Union (EU) to work out a new plan thrice, the group of protesters interrupted proceeding to highlight the issue of climate change.
The individuals were part of a group called Extinction Rebellion, and claimed the unusual performance was “to call attention to the ‘elephant in the room’ — Climate and Ecological Crisis.” Twelve protesters stood partially nude as MPs debated a series of indicative votes.
“Protesters stood in a line with their backsides pressed against the security glass of the public gallery. Most were only wearing knickers or underpants, while two were dressed in elephant masks,” the Independent reported.
Protesters, both men and women had slogans written on their chests, including “for all life”, “climate crisis” and “SOS” along with the organisation’s logo on their stomachs.
“There is an emergency. It isn’t Brexit – it is the sixth mass extinction,” the group said in a statement. The organisation said that they had taken up this form of “non-violent rebellion against the world’s governments for criminal inaction on the climate and ecological emergency.”
Extinction Rebellion publicly stated their aim was to get activists arrested and even sent to prison to draw attention to their cause.
“We are impelled to act in this way because the most important and pressing issue of our time is being flagrantly and recklessly ignored by our government and media,” Mark Øvland of the group told The Telegraph.
This is an emergency.
Our way of life is breaking the natural world.
Our leaders have failed us.
— Extinction Rebellion 🐝⌛️🐝 (@ExtinctionR) April 1, 2019
Police arrested 12 protesters from the gallery and they were charged with outraging public decency.